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New Year Books for Kids: Ring in 2022 with Quality Read Alouds

This list of New Year books for kids will help you start the new year on the right foot! Read alouds are a great way to teach goal setting. This is very fitting for the month of January when everyone is making resolutions. These New Year books for elementary students will assist you in teaching this important skill. Check out the list of New Year books for kids below!

  • Squirrel’s New Year’s Resolution
  • Freedom Soup
  • Shanté Keys and the New Year’s Peas
kids listening to a New Year book

3 New Year Books for Kids

Check out the 3 quality New Year read alouds for elementary students below. These picture books about New Years will be a big hit in your classroom!

Squirrel’s New Year’s Resolution by Pat Miller

The first on the list of New Year read aloud books is Squirrel’s New Year’s Resolution. It is the start of the new year and all of the animals in the forest have made their New Year’s resolutions, everyone except Squirrel. She starts off by asking Bear what a resolution is and if he has one. Bear explains what a resolution is and tells Squirrel that his resolution is to help their friend Skunk learn how to read. Squirrel feels determined to come up with a resolution after talking to Bear.

As she travels throughout the forest, Squirrel runs into many of her friends and talks about their resolutions. Skunk wants to learn to read, Turtle and Mole want to plant a garden, and Porcupine wants to be less grumpy. When Squirrel is eating lunch at the diner, her friends arrive too and they talk about how helpful Squirrel has been. When she visited Skunk, she helped her feel better. She climbed a tree to help Mole and Turtle find a spot for their garden. She also taught Porcupine some funny jokes. That is when Squirrel realizes what her resolution will be: to help someone each day. I liked this book so much that I added it to Starts With a Story collection!

Squirrel's New Year's Resolution book cover

Freedom Soup by Tami Charles

The second on the list of New Year’s children’s books is Freedom Soup. It is a cold and snowy day, but inside Ti Gran’s kitchen, it is warm and busy. Today, Belle is excited for her Ti Gran to teach her how to make traditional Haitian Freedom Soup for New Year’s Day.

As they prepare the ingredients and add them to the big pot, Ti Gran tells Belle why it is called Freedom Soup and what it means to their people. Long ago, the people of Haiti were enslaved and forced to work for their masters. Part of their work was making Freedom Soup, which they were never allowed to eat. When the Haitians rebelled and won their freedom, they were finally able to make and eat Freedom Soup. Every New Year’s Day, Haitians make and eat Freedom Soup to remind themselves of their fight for freedom. 

Freedom Soup book coverShante Keys and the New Year's Peas book cover

Shanté Keys and the New Year’s Peas by Gail Piernas-Davenport

The third on the list of new years picture books is Shanté Keys and the New Year’s Peas. Shanté is visiting her grandmother’s house for New Year’s dinner when they realize that they are out of black-eyed peas. For many African Americans, eating black-eyed peas is a tradition for New Year’s dinner.

Determined to get some for her grandmother, Shanté sets out to ask her neighbors if they have any. At each house, the different families inside introduce her to the many different New Year’s traditions of other cultures. Finally, Shanté arrives at her aunt’s home, where she has more than enough peas to share. Shanté invited everyone she encountered along her journey to their house for dinner. After she gets the peas, they all come over to enjoy them!

If you are looking for lesson ideas, worksheets, and activities to go with a New Years book, check out this Squirrel’s New Year’s Resolution book companion. It includes reading comprehension questions, digital activities, printable worksheets, and much more!

Squirrel's New Year's Resolution

Grab the Free Reading Resources!

In closing, we hope you found this list of New Year books for kids helpful! Your students are going to love these children’s books about new years! They are great winter read alouds! If you want to get more book ideas to read aloud to your elementary students, then grab this reading freebie. It includes read aloud books lists, reading logs, and reading challenges for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classroom teachers. It will have you covered for the entire school year, as well as the summer months! Grab this free elementary reading packet now!

lists of elementary read alouds

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